Friday, October 30, 2009

Is At-Large Seat "A" Council Candidate Mark Hains in Violation Of Ogden City Campaign Finance Disclosure Ordinances?

Hains's own campaign finance reports reveal $3000 in donations from a single political action committee entity

by Dan Schroeder

Lest Mr. Phipps grab all our attention...

There's a very interesting entry in the disclosure form just filed by Mark Hains, a candidate for the Ogden City Council At-large "A" Seat. He reports receiving a $1500 contribution from the Utah Association of Realtors (UAR).

The problem is, he already received $1500 in August from the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors (NWAR). And according NWAR's own disclosure statement (available from the Lt. Governor's web site), NWAR received 100% of its money from UAR. In other words, NWAR is not an independent organization--it's just the local arm of UAR.

In my opinion, this means that Mr. Hains has actually received $3000 from UAR, in violation of the $1500 contribution limit, Per Ogden City Code Section 1-8-3.

The remedy for such a violation is for Mr. Hains to return the additional money and file an amended disclosure statement. (Please, let's not demand that he be disqualified.)

46 comments:

I want the truth to be known said...

Maybe he is not disqualified but this smacks right in the face of dishonesty and integrity if he should not return the money and amend his report, and he should publicly admit his mistake so the community will know just what a stand up guy this guy has been. And while he is at it maybe he could tell us all how the video was made and who made it.
Come on Mark tell us the truth, that is all we want. the simple truth.

COULD, COULD, COULD, said...

Rudi,
Will you link the city ordnance to the story of the newly campaign laws, so every one can see what this is all about.

RudiZink said...

LOL. It's already linked, at the end of the next-to-last paragraph.

But to avoid any confusion, here's a link to Ogden City Code section 1-8-3:

1-8-3: CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES

I'll also redraft the main article to make it more clear.

Thanks

Curmudgeon said...

It looks like Mr. Hains has every bit as weak a grasp on what ethical conduct requires of a public man as Mayor Godfrey.

Tom Jefferson said...

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent"

Bill C. said...

So close to Halloween, what an appropriate setting for this newest challenge that's now staring city attorney gary williams right between the eyes.
This champion of mystical legal wizzardry will be hard pressed to find a timely cure for this latest gaff provided by his bosses own favored candidate, verified by the placement of a hains sign so prominently displayed in the mayors front yard. But fear not lying little mattyites, this legal fakir of notorious renown is indeed up for the challenge. Bar Association, Lt. Governor and Attorney General be damned. This brilliant practioner of medicinal legal remedies is sure to bedazzle every onlooker with his next magical conjuration.
Why the scuttle flying around the muni building has been full of references of, visiting shamens, witches, Amish and Pentecostal faith healers, even Melin's how guide, advanced wizzardry for dummies.
This is gonna be huge, hold onto your seats.

Bill C. said...

Ah rats, I misspelled Merlin, oh well, a spell is appropriate.

RudiZink said...

LOL, Bill!

Here... try this:

Online Spellcheck

wildcat said...

I don't see the problem with the campaign contributions Hains has received from the NWAR and the UAR. The Ogden City Code specifies a contribution limit from persons, not pacs. UAR is a pac, is it not? Is there a $1500 limit on pac contributions? I have been unable to find one in city or state code.

wildcat said...

Oh, and before people jump on me for defending Hains and being a godfreyite, let me say I will be voting for VH and I even contributed $ to her campaign - under the $1500 limit of course.

read the definitions said...

The law defines "person" to include organizations.

Stephen M. Cook said...

Of course Hains contribution numbers toe the line, you can see it in the numbers themselves; similar to when we withdraw 9,998 dollars in cash before a vacation out of state.

We note the fact: in a down economy marked by unscrupulous real estate pitches and flagrant mortgage malpractice, a loose knit group of a dozen or so persons tied to Real Estate flipping and scheming, can contribute more than that of all their financially- ruined "customers" put together.

wildcat said...

read the defs. I did. My question hinged on whether UAR is a pac or not. If a pac, then it fits into a different category. Separate from persons which includes business organizations.

PERSON: Both natural and legal persons, including, but not limited to, business organizations, personal campaign committees, party committees, labor unions, labor organizations and any other organized group of individuals.

PERSONAL CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE: The political committee appointed by a particular candidate to act for such candidate as hereinafter provided.

POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE: An entity, or any group of individuals or entities that constitute a political action committee as defined by Utah Code Annotated section 20A-11-101(27) (2009), as amended.

Curmudgeon said...

WC:

I am no expert by any means on what constitutes a "person" under Utah election laws. But generally, the US courts have held that for many purposes, corporations are "persons" under the Constitution [and as such entitled to the protections persons are entitled to under the Constitution]. So I'd not be at all surprised to learn that Utah law or Ogden ordinances treat PACS as "persons" with respect to campaign contribution caps.

bribes are legal!!!! said...

If the Police officer was Senator Chief Greiner, Were would have been no law broken. Because he would have said that it was just from a lobbyist trying to get out of a ticket.
This is how the story should have read, I was just lobbying the officer to not give me a ticket and he said no. no foul, let me go. Is there really any difference.


Man Accused Of Bribing Officer With a Pepperoni Pizza
Reported by:
Friday, Oct 30, 2009 @09:22am

A Sandy pizza delivery man is in trouble for allegedly bribing a police officer but it wasn't with money.

Back in June, Paul Booth was on the job delivering pizzas. An officer pulled him over for going 50 in a 45-miles-per hour zone.

Paul says he made a joke to try and break the tension.

“I leaned out the window and said, ‘hey, if you go easy on me I can get you a pizza,’ “ Booth said.

He told 2News the officer responded by telling him that would be a bribe.

“I was kind of in disbelief,” said Booth.

“In this particular case the benefit that was offered up happened to be a pizza. There’s nothing in the statue that says it couldn't be that benefit,” said Alicia Cook with the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office.

When Booth went to court for the ticket, he found out he was charged with bribery which is a felony.

The D.A. has since reduced the charge to a misdemeanor.

get er' done said...

If they were donuts, and then they could advertise free donuts on one their cars that donuts are not bribes and lobbying a officer for a easier ticket is ok.

driver said...

I would hire ten new officers and have them do nothing but issue traffic tickets all day long until you bumpkins lean how to drive.

Response to Wildcat said...

Corporate entities like the UAR are regarded under law as "persons", Wildcat.

It's simple "hornbook law".

Artificial "persons" for sure, but still "persons" under standard legal definitions.

David S. said...

Today I received a thank you note from Bart Blair. It appears to have been written in his hand and signed by him.

It's remarkable he would have time to do that with all his campaigning. And when I met him a month or so ago, I was impressed with him.

If people are looking for a good, thoughtful person who is also energetic, Bart Blair is the one.

I realize he now has no opponent, but this is a good guy. I am truly grateful when people like him run. We'll miss Dorrene Jeske intensely, but Bart Blair will be a great addition to the city council, serving in the seat Dorrene has honored so well.

Dan S. said...

Here are a couple more links related to the Hains situation:

NWAR disclosure statement (Lt. Governor's web site). This statement shows that 100% of NWAR's funds came from UAR.

Utah Association of Realtors (look at the Leadership Directory section to see a list of local chapters and names of their leaders). This shows that NWAR is merely a local chapter of UAR, not an independent organization.

OgdenLover said...

The site also shows that Rick Southwick, whom Godfrey appointed to the Planning Commission and who works with Mark Hains, is the President-Elect of NWAR.

Small world, ain't it?

Jarrod said...

We should really give Mr.Phipps a break. After all, he's brought so many unknown businesses to Ogden!

wsu.wildcat07 said...

Did anyone else see the story on KSL last night that once again put our police chief in the news?

KSL 5 News investigates Utah's retiring in place policy

Curmudgeon said...

The link WSU wildcat posted above is well worth going to and reading. Those who "retire in place" like Chief Greiner can end up getting three checks: (a) their retirement pay, though they are still working at the same jobs (b) their pay checks and a third check eventually from the 401K they can open in which the public puts matching funds. And as KSL reports, the rates at which the public contributes to these retired in place people are "unheard of in the private sector." And guess which city's taxpayers are forking over money faster than any others KSL investigate? Yup. Ogden taxpayers. From the report:

And let's examine those 401(k) accounts cities and counties can choose to fund. The contribution rates being put into these retirement funds are unheard of in the private sector:

* 31 percent in Ogden
* 26.25 percent in Salem City
* 26.20 percent in Woods Cross
* 25.90 percent in South Ogden
* 25.40 percent in Harrisville
* 23.34 percent in Clearfield
* 22.61 percent in South Jordan.

These percentages are entirely funded by taxpayers, according to the information we obtained from cities and counties.


Gee, it really pays in Ogden to be a Friend of Matt.

guys with badges said...

31% of 120,000.00 is a whooping 40,000.00 a year just in a 401k. since greiner the whiner retired in 02 that makes 280,000.00 thanks Greiner for making our city so safe. You want to know why we have such a safe city. Because our officers are busy writing tickets to get there raise, and no one reports crime anymore because it doesn't do any good. there has been crimes of this administration reported to law enforcement and no one will touch Godfrey because he likes to blacklist any one that even thinks of it. he is the j. eager hoover of Ogden. I wonder if he even where a dress at night like the real hoover did.

SLUM DOG OOOUUU!! said...

I wish I could become a millionaire like the police chief. I think this gives a new meaning to slum dog millionaire. You know SLUM DOG has a nice ring to it, doesn't Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG.

Senator SLUM DOG.
Senator SLUM DOG.
Senator SLUM DOG.
Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG. Senator SLUM DOG.

Early bird said...

Endorsements are up on the Standard-Examiner site. Go take a look and leave a comment.

wildcat said...

Dan, but both NWAR and UAR are listed as separate PACs on the Lt Governor's website. And, again, the Ogden City code restricts campaign contributions from "persons" to $1500, but not PACs, which are defined differently than "persons." So even if they are the same entity where is the violation?

Dan S. said...

Wildcat: PACs are legal persons, just like all other organizations. The fact that they're also defined separately is irrelevant.

UAR and NWAR are most definitely the same entity. Registering under two different names doesn't change anything.

Just Curious said...

Is the Council going to enforce it's own ordinance limiting campoaign donations or is it Gary Williams job? Does a complaint need to be filed with the city's legal office?

Jim Hutchins said...

Just Curious:

Good luck with that.

I know a citizen who complained to Council about FNURE, and got absolutely nowhere doing so.

Dan S. said...

Just Curious:

The Council is the legislative branch of government, so it has no true enforcement powers. The most it could do would be to launch an investigation into why the law isn't being enforced (i.e., make noise about it).

Late Thursday afternoon I emailed a complaint on this matter to the City Recorder, with a copy to the City Attorney. Yesterday I sent a follow-up email asking if any action was being taken. I've received no response.

I've also emailed Mr. Hains, asking if he will return the excess $1500 and file an amended disclosure statement. He hasn't responded either.

Biker Babe said...

Hey I want to retire from my job and keep working and collecting matching $$$ for my 401(k) tooooooo!

Where do I sign up?

BB

whers the js said...

js
sr

Biker Babe said...

LOL

js, js,

BB

sticky residue said...

BB You are so Hot!!

js,

sr

Ogden Dem said...

Regarding wildcat07's post - also please note that Lt Scott Conley (OPD)is also retired in place.

Biker Babe said...

Stick It Sticky,

Just sayin

BB

AWM said...

Retired in place has been the norm at Hill for 50 years..take your uniform off on Friday and come back on Monday as civil service..nobody's up in arms about that

Biker Babe said...

AWM - watch it ... that's an entirely different situation than what Greiner is doing. Someone serving their country for 20-some years for minimal pay (compared to the private sector or chiefs of police) - then then returning to serve in a civilian capacity for another 20+ years is quite laudable.

js,

BB

AWM said...

BB. I'm no fan of his either but I see no difference...either way it's tax dollars funding it (state or Fed). You saying Greiner didn't serve with distinction or honorably all those years? That he didn't take risks in the line of duty?. I'm no fan of his either but he'd doing the same thing a lot of folks just across the county line are doing and not getting grief for...If you gotta kick him, then kick him for something like the Hatch act etc...

js

AWM said...

Nobody in the military for 20 years is working for minimal pay compared to the private sector...nobody!..when Greiner first started out he wasn't making Chiefs pay..like anyone (in or out of the mil) he started at the bottom and worked his way up. The fact he's double dipping (enhancing his retirement with tax dollars) doesn't make it better or worse than somebody at Hill. Just like the GI, Greiner served his community. Just like the GI he took risks. Folks working at hill double dipping by and large are making a darn decent living...I'm not begrudding them that..what they are doing is LEGAL...Like it or not, what Greiner is doing is LEGAL...now..about that little thing called the Hatch act...that's a whole different matter

By the Way said...

AWM

The military does not pay as good as the civilian work force, check your facts.

When a individual leaves the military and assumes a civilian job at the base that individual does not work for anything other than wages. No increase in retirement benefits over their established and defined military retirement, no eligibility for social security and definately no 31% 401 contribution.

In Greiner's case throw in a third draw from the State taxpayers as a State legislator.

AWM said...

BTW..correct on all counts, but the person is still eligible to draw a 2nd Government pension if they stick around past 10 years..and lets not forget about the TSP..Greiner is getting a sweet deal..no doubt..but he has enough issues that we can focus on that his compensation should be low on the totem pole

Biker Babe said...

AWM - I said minimal pay, not minimum wage. Most young military families live on base (subsidized housing) and shop at commissaries.

Growing up, we mostly lived in trailer courts because the bases where Dad was stationed didn't have housing. Dad retired from the USAF at 39, went to school and was an engineer for another 20+ years before retiring for good.

Now he collects his civilian and military retirement. He wasn't working and collecting retirement at the same time! And he earned the retirement from both by working for it.

js BB

AWM said...

BB..my stick broke so I can't beat this horse anymore. Please be sure to pass along my thanks to your father for his part in maintaining the Umbrella of Peace and Freedom my family is privileged to live under. Is is sincerely appreciated.

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